Infectious Disease Compendium

Common Cold

Diagnosis

Runny nose, scratchy eyes, just watch a Niquil® commercial. Is there anyone who needs a cold described?

Epidemiologic Risks

Being around someone with a cold. Believe it or not, the exact mechanisms for transmission are not known. But we can put a man on the moon. The heck.

Microbiology

Many viruses from the adenovirus, coronavirus, myxovirus, paramyxovirus, picornavirus families.

Empiric Therapy

None. But we can put a man on the moon.

How about Zinc? One study in the Annals suggested efficacy, but a structured review says zinc has yet to be proven effective (PubMed). The increasingly less reliable Cochrane review says zinc reduces the average duration of cold symptoms by almost a day when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset, and also decreases symptom severity with a 50% chance of side effects (PubMed). But there is Newtons law of the medical literature, foe every meta-analysis there is an equal and opposit meta-analysis(PubMed).
However, being fit is protective for developing a cold, or the cold, (PubMed) and shockingly, a study by Vics showed Vaporub helped with cold symptoms in children.

The issue of vitamin D is interesting. In some studies with vitamin D deficient t people, taking vitamin D decreased the odds of a URI. In a study where a general population in New Zealand was given vitamin D or placebo, there was no benefit for preventing URI (PubMed). The best you can conclude from the preponderance of data is it is of benefit not to be vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is not the panacea for the prevention of infections that the SCAM web sites would have you beleive.

Pearls

NSAIDS during an acute respiratory infections increase MI risk 3.4x (PubMed).

Did you know that we can put a man on the moon? At least at one time we could. The designs for the Saturn IV rocket were thrown away, so maybe no longer. Bush wants to go to Mars and he is more than welcome to go. I will follow at a later time, when my cold has resolved, thank you very much.

Rants

Maybe we can't put a man on the moon after all, but hey, how about our health care system? Second to none. Because we are a distant 14th.

By the way, Echinacea doesn't do diddley (PubMed)(PubMed), and there are many studies now to demonstrate the fact. See my podcast on the topic at quackcast.com. Pardon the French, but there are few things as stupid as 99.9% of "alternative" medicine. This section is a good example why I do not mention where I obtained my training.

Everyone has seen a picture of the spray associated with a sneeze. But what does the sneeze do? Sneezing increases the airborne dispersal of S. aureus by 4.7, Coag neg Staph by 1.4, and other bacteria by 3.9 fold. "With each sneeze, 2.83 colony forming units (cfu) of S. aureus, 3.24 cfu of CoNS, and 474.61 cfu of other bacteria (are) released per cubic meter of air per minute (PubMed)."